I am a huge thrill seeker! Some of my favorite experiences in Orlando are rollercoasters, like The Hulk and Gringotts at Universal Orlando. However, when we talk about Disney, there’s more to the conversation than just putting an “off-the-shelf” coaster on a plot of land and attaching a comic book character to it.
Disney is all about the theme! In fact, I would argue that the elements that the Imagineers took into account for the following attractions actually added to the “Thrill Factor”.
The sounds, the story and the atmosphere all come together to bring you this list of the Best Thrill Rides at Disney World
When you put iconic characters like Br’er Bear and Br’er Rabbit into a flume ride and send guests down a 5 storey drop, all while getting the most catchy song on the planet stuck in their heads for the rest of the day…well you get Splash Mountain.
The thrill comes in from the build of the thematic elements. Queue line props and signage in addition to seeing other folks come off the ride SOAKED is part of the anticipation of one of the most photographed Disney Mountains.
Oh, and the photo as you’re plummeting to the Briar Patch is always memorable!
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Researching online, you may think that you’re just getting into a basic car ride…like the Tomorrowland Speedway. Little do you know that the screams of guests being driven around the “SIM Track” overhead of the attraction’s entrance will add to the butterflies.
I used to find this attraction to be more exciting when the cohesive storyline was present, but it’s still an absolute blast when you get to see the technology put into action as you’re sent from the comfort of the show-building and out onto the outdoor track to reach a top speed of 64.9 miles per hour.
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Let’s talk about Space Mountain in the context of added thrills. First off, it’s a coaster where you know that you’re going to be going through space. Sure…we’ve seen the photos and videos of ‘Space Mountain with Lights On’, but it’s a completely different story when you sit down in that ride vehicle.
You will scream.
You will be completely in the dark.
You will scream LOUDLY.
Just accept that fact, and you’ll be fine!
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The story of the Forbidden Mountain is so incredibly well done in the queue line that it’s actually a shame that you don’t get the same experience when you have a FastPass.
Imagineering is proud of the detail that they put into the full attraction, and it all builds to the excitement of your eventual meeting with the protector of the mountain. The steam that shows up when the coaster arrives in the loading dock is breathtaking! The sounds that follow you around the track are as memorable as the feeling of the seats themselves. It’s just a well-designed attraction.
The cat’s out of the bag…the coaster goes backwards for around 8 seconds. It’s the BEST 8 seconds that you’ll have on a coaster, knowing that the excitement is building for your photo opportunity and coming FACE TO FACE with the Yeti!
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“…besides, what could go wrong?” is the best way to start your prehistoric joyride back to the cretaceous period and pick up a dinosaur for Dr Seeker. I’m not going to spoil any more of the pre-show elements, but it’s pretty iconic.
The ride itself is great due to the thrill factor of the Time Rover. In 3 minutes and 5 seconds, you are transported back in time to come face to face with a number of dinosaurs, escape almost certain annihilation from a meteor impact and back to collect your belongings for the rest of your day in the Animal Kingdom.
What puts the attraction formerly known as Countdown to Extinction on the list are the technological advances of the vehicle. Not only are you in the complete darkness for a period of time, but it actually feels like you’re driving for your life!
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Tower of Terror
This is kinda a gimmie on the list, but let’s go into the details as to why it’s ‘Thrilling’.
Imagine going into a hotel, through the lobby and into the boiler room before boarding your elevator to go to your “room”. The details of this queue are amazing, but very deceiving. Always remember to go straight and not to turn right…you’ll thank me later;)
13 Stories: The number of floors that your elevator sends you plummeting down.
39 miles per hour: The drop speed
Yea, this is a thrilling experience just by the numbers alone, but when you put that together with the fact that the Tower of Terror is actually on a randomized drop sequence. This means that every ride is unique!
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Rock ‘N Roller Coaster
0-57mph in 2.8 seconds in a ride vehicle that’s launched by linear induction motors, which utilizes a mix of hydrolic and pneumatic power to send you into Disney’s only attraction that actually has a loop.
Thrilling is a word that just can’t fully describe this experience, as it’s so much more. The story, the queue details, the cameos and the load & unload areas are all adding to one of the most exhilarating experience at a Disney Park!
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So that’s my list! Do you agree or disagree? Should I add anything on that you think is worthy of being labeled as one of the Best Thrill Rides at Disney? Let me know in the comments below!